The amount of regulation of political speech is still among the greatest in our nation’s history. The federal election laws and regulations currently contain over 376,000 words. The FEC has regulations for 33 specific types of political speech, and for 71 different types of “speakers.” There are nearly 1,900 advisory opinions and nearly 7,000 enforcement actions that provide guidance on what these vague laws might mean. Worse, these vague laws provide criminal penalties for violations, with the potential for politically motivated prosecutions that could greatly chill speech.
The Institute for Free Speech (IFS), through strategic litigation, communication, activism, training, research, and education, works to promote and defend First Amendment rights to free political speech, assembly, and petition. We are the nation’s largest organization dedicated solely to protecting First Amendment political rights
We track and analyze proposed legislation and regulations at the federal and state levels that could negatively affect these rights. In general, those policies include contribution limits, disclosure mandates, taxpayer-financing of campaigns, and corporate governance. The Institute works at both the federal and state levels to address important issues resulting from legislation, regulation, and court decisions.